I am amused to think of Leo
paying for the terabytes he backs up! However, your response raises a very
interesting and important issue. You say that you’re currently only in the
“back up” business, meaning that Carbonite mirrors protected files on internal
permanent drives. Very well, but what happens when a file is deleted locally?
How long does it take for your client to report the deletion, and then, for your
servers to delete the backup? The various comments from Leo in his multitude of
podcasts suggest that he uses Carbonite as short-term archiving. Indeed, the
distinction between a “back up” and an archive is fuzzy and entirely dependent
on the answers to the above questions.
In essence, I’m suggesting that
those questions have to be answered the same way regardless of a file’s
location. After all, Windows doesn’t care where your Documents folder is, so
why should Carbonite? Your concerns are valid, but they are equally valid for
internal drives. If you have folder X on an internal drive, you can swap files
into and out of it. Of course, Carbonite will eventually delete files that
aren’t in X presently so why should a USB drive be any different? A drive really
is just a folder on steroids.
In my case, 250 GB would be
plenty. Even 150 GB would be enough, if I can pick the files. But, why should
anyone tell me what I can safe-guard? I suppose that’s an argument for tiering.
You see, once you get past exceptions like Leo who are drowning in bandwidth,
you see a much drier landscape. We have bandwidth, but nowhere near what the
San Francisco and New York pundits assume is the norm. Those people who think
it’s time for IPTV are in for a wait. Most of America is a good piece below the
cloud so ubiquitous real-time cloud-based services are a pipe-dream for us
(literally), and will be for the near future. If Carbonite wishes to be
relevant in more than a few places, I think you must shift to an archival model
because average users simply don’t have the bandwidth to make “cloud” back ups
worthwhile. Restoring any large amount of data would be painful.
Hi, guys. There’s a technical issue and a
commercial issue. Leo is exactly right about the $5/mo. We
already lose money on a small percentage of our users, and that’s the price we
pay in order to make it really easy for everyone. However, we don’t want
to make the economics any worse than necessary or we’d have to raise prices for
everyone. A small number of users already use a highly disproportionate
amount of our storage. The alternative would be to charge by the
gigabyte like most of our competitors do, or simply shut off your backup
without notice if you get too big, as one of our “unlimited” competitors
does. There’s no free lunch, and none of us can afford to back up more
than about 150GBs without losing money at $5/mo. In a few months we
will have a new product on the market that will backup USB external drives,
NAS, and any other lettered drives. But pricing will be tiered by the GB,
not unlimited. I’m sure people will buy one license and back up all their
PCs, and that’s fine.
Regarding USB drives, here’s why we don’t back them up
today: What should we do when the drive is unplugged? Do we assume
that the data is deleted and so delete the backup? If not, then we are
essentially archiving the data, not backing it up. If we don’t delete
data when you unplug the drive, someone could fill up an external drive, load
it up to Carbonite, erase the drive and fill it up with other data, and
repeat. This is not what we’re getting paid to do and it wouldn’t
make any economic sense at all. If we’re charging you by the GB,
then of course we’re happy to archive as well as back up.
Hope that answers the question.
David Friend | Chairman & CEO
Inc. | 177 Huntington Ave., 15th Floor | Boston, MA | 02115
617-587-1110 | Fax: 617-587-1101